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Gbonju is a Human Resources Development Consultant, accredited Performance Coach and International Speaker, she is passionate about supporting individuals and organisations excel; ensuring the HRD function assists in the achievement of eacher, and trainer. I recommend you connect with her.
B.L.I.S.S part 3- Identity
The Acronym B.L.I.S.S stands for Beliefs . Language. Identity. Script. Story.
In part one, I wrote on the impact of the human belief system on achieving aspirations. Part two focused on the importance of language. Today let’s explore the idea of ‘IDENTITY’
Your identity is wrapped up in your thoughts, values and criteria- How you see yourself… what you think of yourself … how you feel about yourself ,and provides you with the answer to the question. ‘Who am I’?
Your belief has a great impact on the identity you accept for yourself- I recently stumbled upon a personal website of an American woman called Gini Crawford. Her mum had died when she was just five years old and she had to go and live with her paternal grandparents. She grew up feeling in her own words ‘worthless, stupid, ugly and guilty’ because her grandmother constantly told her she was stupid (she had a learning disability which affected her performance at school). She was also made to feel responsible for everything that went wrong with the family, so for many years even as an adult, she carried the feeling of responsibility for anything that went wrong in any situation. These had so much effect on Gini that she dropped out of college.
Our past certainly influences our present, we all have labels from our past; but what Gini found out is that what determines your present or future is not what happened to you as a child but your attitude to it. At 47 Gini went back to college to finish her degree, but even then the beliefs of low self worth and inadequacy hunted her for a while. She wrote about when she got the result of her first test and saw a pass mark on it; the first thought that came to her mind was that that it could not be her test paper. But suddenly it dawned on her that she had believed the lie of the past even to that very moment in time.
So I ask you, ‘who are you?’ ‘What is your self worth tied to?’ for some people their self worth is tied up to their ‘big’ job titles and flashy lifestyles. A business acquaintance of mine once told us how her whole sense of self was once tied up to her senior executive role within a large corporation. Her thinking was, “I have this job and title = I am worthy and great; I don’t have this job= I am nothing, no one”
Just as a map of a territory is only a partial representation of that territory, your chosen job or career does not necessarily define you. I know someone who took early retirement (under 50 years old) as a senior manager at a top oil company and now spends his time playing the saxophone at social functions- and loving it!.
What you do is not always who you are. That explains why many people in supposedly enviable positions, are sad and unfulfilled. These feelings have a lot to do with the value system. Values can be described as ‘fundamental policies for the self that define who we are.’ They direct our lives and yet often we are not even aware of them. ‘Things become important to us when we believe they will take us in the direction of that ultimate goal in life – happiness as a state-of-being.’ The feeling of unfulfilment or disillusionment is a specific form of pain that tells you when your behavior is out of sync with your values. Your behaviour is what you do…your values describe what you expect of yourself and how you define yourself as a person.
So to help you explore your identity, ponder on the following questions I found on Don and Angie Carter’s website:
- How is what you are experiencing an expression of who you are?
- How do you describe yourself? Do you live up to that? How often?
- What labels do you put on other people?
- How would others describe you?
- Would other people think of you as you want them to?
- What are 5 to 8 of the most important things in your life?
- What is your mission in life?Do you have one?